(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "History And Human Relation"

CHRISTIANITY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONSHIPS

reproach to which we ourselves are liable. We can
say that thieves, juveniles and aggressors are more
picked now than in other ages, when we ought to be
asking which of the safeguards against these things we
have allowed to disappear. The Pharisees who adopt
this facile course sometimes even pretend to be more
moral than other people. It is somewhat as if a person
were to claim that theft should be punished by hanging,
and, when challenged on the subject, attempted to take
credit for going further in this way than other people in
the fight against human wickedness.

Even if we may have to defend ourselves against an
enemy, then, Christianity does not allow us to hate the
enemy or to imitate his barbarities on the pretext of
moral indignation; and if to our pity and sorrow we
add hatred, we need to take care lest we merely enlarge
the area of the evil, even if only by barbarising ourselves.
The fight against modern barbarism is peculiar and
difficult; for the means we must take to defend ourselves
against it are precisely the opposite means to the ones
which would be needed for exercising a civilising
influence. In any case it is a question whether we do
not bring tragedy for the world when we allow our
purposes to go much further than merely defending the
victims of attack—it is a question whether we have made
the world a safer place for smaller nations by our modern
species of " defensive war with an offensive arriere-
pens'et". Until our time, when so much history,was
reorganised for popular consumption on the basis of a
pagan righteousness-myth, historical science did not
make any mistake about the matter. After 1688 the

59